You have this person in your life. You may classify this person in a number of ways: unconventional, outdoorsy, adventurous, dirtbag. They may also go by Dad, Father, Step-Dad, Pops, or a number of other titles. And this person may seem hard to shop for. They have all the gear they need, and don’t really like extra “stuff” lying around. So what do you do?
Here are some gifts for the outdoor dad that you'll love to give — and they'll love to get, whether on Father's Day or any other special occasion.
You may think this is a weird gift, but being able to wipe down the essential bits when you need to run to a meeting and have no time to shower feels like heaven.
As kids, most of us thought socks were the worst gift ever. Now, we long for a pair of good wool socks to keep our feet smelling fresh in the backcountry for days. And those suckers aren’t cheap!
Arguably the most versatile clothing item ever made. They can be bandanas, neck warmers, snot rags, ear warmers. But we all know their real use is to fashionably hide dirty hair.
We can’t have a gift guide without including this! A guidebook isn’t just a book to place on a shelf and collect dust. It’s an opportunity for adventure, a lesson in the history of the land, a plea not to get lost forever. Give Dad a copy of Menasha Ridge Press's new camping guides
- Best Tent Camping: Illinois
- Best Tent Camping: Oregon
- Best Tent Camping: Washington
- Best Tent Camping: Arizona
- Best Tent Camping: Southern Appalachian and Smoky Mountains
This tiny piece of technology is worth its weight in gold for those of us who are obsessive iPhone photographers in the backcountry. And photographs only! Because we all know phones shouldn’t be relied on for trail directions, right? Right?
Any outdoor-lover will be thrilled to get a gift helping protect and preserve public lands. Sign them up to be a member of one you know they will love. Better yet, sign them up to be a PlayCleanGo Partner!
Boot brushes are really versatile, especially the PlayCleanGo boot brush with hoof pick. They work not only on shoes and boots but also are great with packs, the cloth undersides of strollers, bike tires, horse hoofs, and any outerwear. If you’re out in wet, muddy conditions, you might need to wait until the mud dries to be able to scrape seeds and plant fragments off. Be sure to bag up whatever you scrape off and throw it in the trash. Does your dog like to hike with you? Use the boot brush on their paws too and check fur for hitchhiking seeds that might be from invasive plants.
Shammies are the ultimate in outdoor recreation usefulness. Towel off your gear including PFDs and paddles after boating, wipe down your bike and bike gear, and wash it for your next outdoor adventure. Try to get any seeds, plant parts, or aquatic animals into a plastic bag and throw them away. Another great PlayCleanGo tip.
Several companies offer lightweight portable showers but you can make your own with a little drill bit and a disposable / recyclable water bottle. Drill several small holes into the cap of a disposable water bottle, fill it up before you head out for your mountain bike ride, hike, hunting excursion, or camping trip, and shower off gear before you leave the trailhead or campsite.
Other items that seem to go over well include good sun protection. What guy enjoys using sunscreen on their face? Not many, so instead go for a good hat to protect them from the suns rays.
Add a great water bottle or coffee mug that can be used for camping or thrown in the mix.
Multi-tools or knives! Can you ever have too many? Pocket knives, fish cleaning knives, multi-tools with finger nail clippers; the possibilities are endless!
Don't forget those sport specific gifts such as fishing lures, inclinometer, smart devices like lawn sprinklers (who would’ve thought), indoor/outdoor weather station or hygrometer.
Go for the Experience!
Does your dirtbag have it all?! Value the day together by planning a fishing trip, a hiking adventure, a kayak trip, a horseback ride, or fun in the mud with your ATV. Just remember, whatever you do don’t add too much competition - they brought you up in this world and can surely take you out!
Happy Father’s Day to all the “dirtbags” out there!